Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gladwell's "Something Borrowed"

In "Something Borrowed," Gladwell wonders what constitutes as plagiarism and what is just plain creativity and coincidence.  Many examples were used to demonstrate that what sometimes appears to be plagiarism, is actually a coincidence, and not everything can belong to someone.  One man tried to claim that the playing of a certain three notes was his property and anyone who wanted to use them together needed permission, but it was determined that just plain notes in a chord can not be a personal belonging to people, but however if the notes were in a certain rhythm and sequence this can be.  Part of Gladwell's wrk was "stolen" and repeated in a play called "Frozen."  The author meant no harm to Gladwell or Lavery, but it came across very offensive and hurtful to Lavery to be portrayed in a play but given no credit for any of the work that was stolen.   It is never clearly stated what is plagiarism and what isn't, but it is left for the reader to think about and perhaps determine for themselves what is true plagiarism.

I really enjoyed reading this piece, because sometimes I often wonder to myself what constitutes as really plagiarizing, and what is really just being creative.  Gladwell brought up several examples that I was intrigued by and wanted to go listen for myself to hear what Gladwell was experiencing.  Plagiarism can be such a fine line, so I think it is best to just cite any ideas that you have received from other places, just to be safe and prevent getting into trouble for "stealing."  I also worry about representing the author wrong when referencing their work.  That can be a problem also, and is something to really pay attention to.

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